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Chris Williamson: Nicaragua, a “Beacon of Hope”.

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Chris Williamson in Brighton: Top Supporter (Tony Greenstein) on far-left.

This has now been tweeted.

The case of Chris Williamson is well known.

The man is so far gone that it hard to imagine the suspended from Labour MP  taking any notice of reality but here is an article, this year, from Labour Briefing by Mike Phillips, a Spanish speaker who knows Nicaragua,

New human rights report condemns Nicaraguan government

Mike Phipps 

A new report has slammed the Nicaraguan state for abuses carried out in the aftermath of last year’s protests. Crackdown in Nicaragua: Torture, Ill-Treatment, and Prosecutions of Protesters and Opponents, published by the US-based Human Rights Watch and based on work by an independent group of experts, appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, says that some of the abuse amounted to torture.

“Many of the people detained during the crackdown on protests were subject to serious abuses that in some cases amounted to torture – including electric shocks, severe beatings, fingernail removal, asphyxiation, and rape,” says the report. “Many injured detainees were reportedly denied medical care in public health institutions and doctors who provided care said they suffered retaliation.”

The prosecution of protestors has also violated the norms of due process, argues the report. “Protestors have been held in incommunicado detention, subjected to closed door trials, and denied the right to confer privately with their defense lawyers.”

The report further accuses the government of targeting journalists and cracking down on independent media outlets. It further cancelled the legal registration of nine civil society organizations. Top officials who bear responsibility for the abuses, far from being held to account, have been promoted by President Ortega.

The full report is available here https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/06/19/crackdown-nicaragua/torture-ill-treatment-and-prosecutions-protesters-and#page

 

Williamson, a vegan, is no doubt an authority on identity politics.

This is another strand he is following:

His supporters have had another setback with this news today:

Labour suspends Liverpool Momentum co-chair over alleged antisemitism

Jewish Chronicle.

He allegedly shared messages on social media that used antisemitic tropes around philanthropist George Soros

The co-chair of pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum in Liverpool has been suspended by Labour pending an investigation over allegations of antisemitism.

Chris Cavanagh – who is a close ally of suspended MP Chris Williamson – is accused of sharing messages on social media that contravened party rules including several that used antisemitic tropes around philanthropist George Soros.

The JC can reveal that Mr Cavanagh, a member of West Derby Labour Party, was informed of his suspension from the party earlier this month.

It is unclear whether he has also been suspended from his role as co-chair of Liverpool Momentum.

Last July, Mr Cavanagh had helped organise a Momentum meeting as part of Chris Williamson’s ‘Democracy Roadshow’ in which the Derby North MP – now facing expulsion over his repeated interventions in the party’s antisemitism crisis – attempted to unsettle Labour MPs deemed unloyal to Jeremy Corbyn.

During the meeting at Liverpool’s Quaker Meeting House, which the JC attended, one speaker was loudly applauded after he said: “What could be a greater threat to our democracy than a foreign government who is trying to veto the person we want for Prime Minister?

“Of course, I’m talking about the Israelis with their foot soldiers in Labour – the LFI [Labour Friends of Israel], the JLM [Jewish Labour Movement]. They are trying to take our democracy away from us.”

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Jacobin’s European Editor Says ‘Haha” When Rival leftist Physically Assaulted.

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This is the story that inspired the hilarity.

A statement by Mark Osborn about an incident of physical violence at a meeting of Lewisham Momentum (15 August 2019).

A further series of unpleasant attacks on left activists aligned with Workers’ Liberty took place at the Lewisham Momentum meeting held on Wednesday 14 August.

The most serious incident at this Momentum meeting was that Bill Jefferies of Ladywell ward, Lewisham Deptford CLP, physically attacked me. He hit me on the chin and grabbed my throat, in the hall outside the meeting room as the meeting was breaking up. He is 10cm taller and 40 kg heavier than me.

I’m okay, as always. But my chin still hurts and there’s a mark on my neck.

Full statement via above.

Broder (David Broder@broderly @jacobinmag Europe editor) has deleted the tweet but his admirers, watching like ‘awks, noticed it.

Broder’s work for Jacobin on the international left is renowned.

He is a keen supporter of Mr 6,3% (the score of Mélenchon’s rally, La France insoumise, LFI,  in this year’s European Elections).

We look forward to Broder’s sympathetic coverage of the revolutionary patriotism behind this latest decision by LFI, their invitation to Thierry Ardisson, a ‘constitutional’ Monarchist, to star at the summer school.

Broder’s generosity does not extend to leftist rivals in Britain.

One questions why Jacobin have such an intemperate  enemy of British and Irish pro-European leftists, determined to re-enact the disputes of his youth,  as a gatekeeper for their European coverage.

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 17, 2019 at 11:06 am

Labour Left Moves Against Brexit; the Red-Brown Front Bites Back.

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Brexit Party ‘Marxist’ James Hartfield Defends Sovereigntist Line Against this Internationalist Critique.

 

Away from  the slough of mythology that is the Red-Brown Front:

Remain and Reform: A Necessary Strategy or Doomed to Fail?

Comrade Mike Phillips sums up the case against the ‘purity’ of the General Will that the Brexit Red-Browners put their faith in.

It’s worth recalling all this, when we are told that we have to honour the decision of the British people – in a referendum which was held solely to overcome divisions in the Tory Party and to resist the electoral pressure upon it from UKIP – which resulted in an extremely slim victory for the Leave campaign. In retrospect, we can see that the activities of Facebook and other networks, in the 2016 Trump election campaign and in the distortion of other democratic processes internationally, constituted a qualitatively new phenomenon in the undermining of democracy.

Now we can see ‘fake news’ and the forces that weaponise it as part of a much larger subversion. Liberal democracy is under global attack. Putin – another supporter of Brexit for his own geostrategic reasons – has declared liberal values “obsolete”. His singling out specifically of multiculturalism and immigration demonstrate that he is attacking the core liberal beliefs of freedom, toleration and foundational equality, rather than the outworn dogmas of neoliberal economics that helped propel him to power.

Clearly claiming that there is a People that decided to back Brexit is true.

But what indication is that a majority voted for a No-Deal Brexit?

You can vote for a strike, then you vote on the deal.

More to the point though is the premise of the argument:  what is this ‘people’ that secured a small majority?

And then there is Trump, another ardent Brexiteer, who shockingly admitted that he would want to hear dirt on rival presidential candidates compiled by foreign powers. Trump has praised authoritarian regimes from Hungary to the Philippines and Brazil. Brexit in this context, becomes a piece of a much larger attack on liberal, rational, internationalist values from a conservatism that increasingly disdains democracy in order to cling on to its wealth and privilege – or where it does go into electoral battle does so under the flag of toxic authoritarian nationalism.

Democracy, majority decision-making rests on conflict, within the framework of tolerance and respect between opposing views and group.

Just because the vote goes one way does not mean that the process is halted.

We can call this “agonistic” (Chantal Mouffe), motored by the fight by the ‘pleb’ for equality (Jacques Rancière). An influential view on the left is based on Machiavelli’s “republican’ picture of conflict as the motor of liberty. Many on the modern left are influenced by  Claude Lefort’s “democratic revolution” and Étienne Balibar’.”Illimitation démocratique” as an expansion of social decision making across society.

Democracy, for the internationalist left, which sees no inherent national limits, is not based on the transmission of the Will of the People through Plebiscites. Democracy is based on universal human rights, not national sovereignty. The advance of these claims – as the expansion of the concept of rights over the decades has shown, in institutional forms, is potentially unlimited. They are permanent challenges to the structures of exploitation and oppression held together by bourgeois national states.

The demand for British sovereignty, complete with class privilege wired into the institutions, is national populism, or as Mike calls it “authoritarian nationalism”.

This is James Heartfield’s democratic party, the Brexit Party.

It is no accident that Boris Johnson’s support for ‘no deal’ goes hand in hand with this exclusionary, manipulative rhetoric, for example, demonising Muslim women as ‘letterboxes’, all congruent with the racial discourse of Trump and far right nationalists in Europe. Behind Johnson stands Farage, and behind Farage stand the most extreme forces. Farage’s party’s most senior election official publicly praised the far right ‘Tommy Robinson’, one of the best funded politicians in Britain, thanks to US dark money flooding into his organisation.

In these conditions,a Hard Right Brexit,  we have every right to demand a vote on the deal, or on “no-deal”  and on continuing with Brexit or whether to Remain.

Sticking to this theme (there is a lot more in the article, demolishing the ‘Lexit’ left Brexit case) and surveying the state of public opinion and how Labour should react is this,

these tactical considerations must be secondary to the point of principle: the Brexit vote was a nationalist vote. We socialists are not nationalists, but internationalists. We reject the irrational, exclusionary, anti-human ‘othering’ central to Brexit, in favour of a rational, humanitarian, inclusive commitment to a different set of values. ’Lexit’ could not offer this. There was no visible alternative Lexit campaign or narrative and the evidence of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland shows that where the toxic, divisive, insular nationalism of Farage and the Tory right is not on offer, results can be very different.

Mike Phipps Concludes,

So we need to be ambitious. A radical reform agenda would start by setting out an alternative European model – a social Europe that overhauls the existing institutions of the EU, gives real power to the EU Parliament, and focuses on safeguarding the principles of the welfare state, socially useful and environmentally responsible employment and humanitarian priorities in foreign policy. Lobbying abuses and other forms of corruption need to be tackled and a system of ombudsmen created.

In the spirit of democratic debate Labour Hub publishes on the same page a nostalgic look back on the past Labour left opposition to the EU by Paul O’Connell which dismisses “liberal morons”.

Meanwhile back on the Red-Brown Front Line, anti-Irish hate is the new Black.

 

We Have Been Harmonised. Life in China’s Surveillance State. Kai Strittmatter. A Review.

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We Have Been Harmonised. Life in China’s Surveillance State. Kai Strittmatter. Old Street Publishing. 2019.

A Touch of Sin is a 2013 film, Kai Strittmatter says, like traditional Chinese landscapes, known as “paintings of rivers and mountains, ten thousand miles across”. The director Jia Zhangke shot a quartet of dark tales of people at the end of their tether. A penniless migrant in Dongguan is taunted by the view of the women he loves in a brothel performing in a fantasy railway carriage; a labourer in Shanxi is swindled by mine bosses out of promised shared profits. The picture is full of desperate violence. “It’s something I always wanted to do” the director says, “make a film that summaries the current state of China.”

A Touch of Sin was widely seen across the world, and made a lasting impression on its audience. It was a “window” into desperation and aggression, a part of Chinese reality. Censors decided that it would not be shown in the country’s cinemas. Zhangke comments, “..in China we all live under an authoritarian regime. This means we’re all the same. There are those to whom the power belongs – and then there’s everybody else. We’re all the underclass.” (Page 223)

We Have Been Harmonised is an impassioned book on what New Left Review editor Susan Watkins dispassionately calls a “peasant-based Communist state that has undertaken thirty years of high-speed capitalist growth”. For Strittmatter China’s leader, Xi Jinping, heads a regime that has turned from “reform and opening up.” (Page 1) The country is now “working to create the perfect surveillance state, and its engineers of the soul are again trying to craft the ‘new man’ of whom Lenin, Stalin and Mao once dreamed.” It has ambitions to shape a “new world order”. He concludes, “the greatest challenge to liberal democracy will not come from a stagnant Russia. It will come from the economic powerhouse of China.”(1)

The fate of China’s minorities, the mass ‘re-educated’ Uighurs, religious, artistic and political dissidents, and the Hong Kong democrats, is of more immediate interest. The censorship and propaganda machine marshalled against them has a far greater sweep than Zhangke’s masterpiece. Control over social media and the ‘social credit system’, the ang’an secret file on every individual, Panopticon surveillance, the “social trustworthiness” of each person is graded. You can be punished for “negative online behaviour”. Bad scores can thwart job prospects, even the ability to travel. This, Strittmatter says, is “the return of totalitarianism in digital guise” (Page 217) Violence, unlike the state sponsored purges of the 1950s, against the backdrop of mass starvation of the Great Leap Forward, and the hysteria of the Cultural Revolution, harrowingly recounted in Frank Dikötter’s path-breaking studies, is at a “subliminal level, as an ever-present threat”. Dissent is still severely repressed. (2)

New Marxism

China’s ‘new Marxism’ is largely a belief in the need to develop the productive forces. When some “genuine believers” appeared in recent times, young people whom “called themselves fervent Marxists and were deeply affected by their country’s inequality, the lack of a social welfare system, the scale of corruption, and above, the lot of the exploited working classes” they were quickly arrested. (Page 140) The Party has greater claims to have resurrected the most rigid side of Confucius. The propaganda apparatus celebrates the concept of ‘harmony’. It forms a “path of reform”, in the largely uncritical words of another New Left Review contributor, Peter Nolan, which “might be described as a form of da tong zhu yi – great harmony-ism; or perhaps ‘great commonwealth-ism – drawing on the age-old Chinese notion of meritocratic bureaucracy that regulates the economic system in the interests of the whole population”. The Party has, for the leaders of this process, rediscovered the Liu Shao-Chi’s How the Be a Good Communist (1951), which cited Confucius and Mencius on the need for members’ “steeling and self-cultivation”, sacrificing all personal interests to the Party. (3)

In the 1970s the Sinologist Simon Leys (for example in The Chairman’s New Clothes: Mao and the Cultural Revolution. 1979) removed the scales from the eyes of a generation of leftists. Enthusiasm about the Cultural Revolution was doused in cold water. This was not a struggle to change the relations of production, to fight bureaucracy, or a world-wide call for a new communist movement. For Leys it was an inner-party fight, waged by blood stained Mao against his opponents, over the skulls of millions, with an ultra-nationalist thrust of the Mao-‘leftist’ faction. If today many people wish to leave the country, this escape was not legally possible in this xenophobic epoch.

Solidarity with the Democrats.

Today most people have generous feelings towards China, its culture and its people. It is no longer a remote, barely known, destination. There are Chinese communities across the world. I hear the language spoken every single day. Strittmatter, who cites Leys, exaggerates in suggesting that Westerners have let the Chinese Communist Party pull the wool over their eyes. There are positive aspects of globalisation. Wishful thinking about the country’s system is inspired by the warm human contact many have with the Chinese, and their cultural creations, far more than by self-interested exchanges.  . That We Have Been Harmonised points to the democratic norms and tolerance of the present-day Taiwanese, indicates a convergence of beliefs and cultures deeper than Starbucks.

The ambitions of Xi Jinping Thought, to “correct and transform the world”, are carried forward by a capitalist state which claims to be Communist. The present work gives many reasons to be hostile to the way that it has tried to spread that influence internationally, from the New Silk Road, to blatant efforts to silence across the globe. In uncovering the darkest sides of China’s domestic rule You Have Been Harmonised is as salutary as Simon Ley’s writings. Reading it is highly recommended. But perhaps it is not an effort best spent to point at “weakness of the West” faced with a Chinese “threat.”and call for compromised governments to be hostile to Mao 2.0. To fight the hijacked language, the power, and the repressive panoptican State the real response is to build solidarity and friendship with China’s democrats, beginning now with those fighting in Hong Kong.

  1. America Vs China. Susan Watkins. New Left Review. 115. New Series. 2019.
  2. The Tragedy of Liberation. A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945 – 57. Frank Dikötter. Bloomsbury. 2913. Mao’s Great Famine Frank Dikötter. Bloomsbury 2010.
  3. The CPC and the Ancien Régime. Peter Nolan. New Left Review. 115. New Series. 2019

Frank Furedi, How Fear Works: a Review, “The Red-Brown Dreadnoughts”.

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Mr Dreadnought Faces Fear.

Frank Furedi How Fear Works. Culture of Fear in the Twenty-first Century. Bloomsbury. 2018.

“I pass, like night, from land to land;

I have strange power of speech:

That moment that his face I see,

I know the man that must hear me:

To him my tale I teach.”

The Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

“In recent times” announces Frank Furedi, “ I have given around eighty lectures on the culture of fear a round the world.” This will come as a surprise to many who associate the one-time leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, RCP, (defunct in 1997) Emeritus professor of Sociology and self-identifying humanist with his progeny in Spiked. That on-line magazine is best known for its claims to defend free speech; libertarian attacks on environmentalism, and “political correctness”. So predictable is its “contrarian” stand that a left-wing prophet regularly forecasts coming articles by editor Brendan O’Neill. Unaided I imagined a heavy swipe at Greta Thunberg. A second later and this came up on Google, “The cult of Greta Thunberg.

Over the last couple of years Spiked has been an outlet for pro-Brexit sovereigntist and ‘working class’ nationalist identity politics, and a strident defender of national populism. Funding from the hard-right Koch Foundation is probably as well known as the ideas Spiked and its nebulae of fronts promote (How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain 

Populist politics are far from a contrarian joke. The Brexit Party. In discussing How Fear Works, on the friendly platform of Spiked Furedi said, “critics of populism accuse populist movements of using the politics of fear. But more concerning is the fear of populism.” (The Fear of Populism is really the fear of the masses). He has poured scorn on “project fear” Not only have contributors to the site stood as candidates for Nigel Farage’s rally, but one, also ex-RCP, the broadcaster Claire Fox, is now one of their best known MEPs.

Relentless in his global preaching How Fear Works is, as the author points out, the latest in a number of his fearful works, including The Politics of Fear (2005) That book talked of the end of distinction between left and right. “It is amongst the left-wing intelligentsia” Furedi asserted, “that the greatest scorn is reserved for the ideas of progress associated with the Enlightenment” The “conservatism of fear” could be seen in those protesting “against capitalism” in the ‘alter-globalisation’ movement of the time. Their concerns for regulation and the environment demonstrated a “misanthropic mistrust of human ambitions and experimentation”. (1)

Green Catastrophes. 

In this respect Furedi bears comparison to the jeremiads against the Green movement’s “catastrophism” by Pascal Bruckner, Le Fanatisme de l’apocalypse. Sauver la Terre, punir l’Homme/The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse (2013).  At present one expects The present book on the “ascendancy of the culture of fear” and the “unawareness of any cherished values” is more ambitious. It ranges from such “eschatological anxieties”, the “perils facing society” to the “psychology of fear” and the “way it was perceived in previous historical epochs”. In this respect he asserts that, “History provides an important intellectual resource for illustrating how people managed to tame their fears and move forward.” (2)

A substantial part How Fear Workers is devoted to sociology from newspaper clippings, or rather what I saw on the Web. If the media is not “an omnipotent force” creating the culture of fear, it is Furedi´s prime source. Written into this “cultural script” of dread is everything from population growth, emotional harm, and how “the evidence of reason and science provides the motivation for fearing threats”. This authority is used for “Warnings about obesity, flue epidemics, SARS and superbugs”. Toning down his previous resolutely sceptical approach Furedi indicates that campaigners on global warning sometimes engage in “distortion of evidence”. “Fear entrepreneurs” and “moral entrepreneurs” are out to protect the public. Safety has become a value in itself.  I saw it somewhere on Facebook.

Furedi offers a reconstruction of the place of fear in, a bite sizes, of  the history of the moral imagination of human beings. Personhood he indicates, has drawn back from responding to fear with “wisdom, courage, moderation and justice”. But what ancient virtues can be detached from the societies that embodied them?

Heroic Virtues.

The one time New Leftist Alasdair Macintyre sketched the ancient “heroic virtues” and the Aristotelian hierarchy of virtues, engaged in a “quest” to reunite our fragmented ethics. “Truthfulness, justice and courage” would replace subjective emotivism, the therapist and the ‘value neutral’ manager. Furedi is more ambitious, calling on the “Judaism and Christianity” for “moral principles” and the “contribution of the Ancients – Greeks and Romans – Christian philosophy and the Enlightenment” to back a move forward towards “openness to experimentation” and risk-taking. It is at odds with our “precautionary culture”, though perhaps, amongst the previous “resources” not all together at once. (4)

Moving from the importance of free debate, the need to take risks, the “virtue of courage” we find that a  “loss of faith in public life and in people’s decision-making” runs through modern politics. Like critical theorists of “post-democracy” the one-time Revolutionary Communist is outraged at “contempt for the public”. He, mirroring the often-expressed view of writers such as Jacques Rancière, considers that the term “populist” is used to belittle popular democracy.

Interviewed in 2017 he talked of being a “genuinely committed European” and the welcome Brexit vote. “The EU is risk averse, it believes that if something moves it should be regulated. It represents risk as a form of danger not an opportunity.” The alternative is national sovereignty, “National sovereignty is not simply about waving the flag, it’s about understanding that only through the institutions of a nation state can you have a sense of control over your destiny and hold your leaders and politicians to account. It is only in this terrain that democracy has any real meaning.” How exactly a nation state enables people to take control over one’s (personal or collective?)  “destiny” is not explored. Furedi belongs to that class of people who think that sovereignty gives the power to rule the waves and turn the oceans into lemonade. While negotiating a Brexit on WTO terms.

In his horror story, which extend from the European Union outwards, Furedi   relies on assertions about the power of “political oligarchy ”, the “elite” is working against the masses . Why and how, backed by empirical evidence,  it fabricates ‘fear’ is less than clear. Outside of news clippings and reflections about the philosophy and history of being afraid we have a theoretical and practical vacuum.

For Spiked and the ex-RCP one thing remains clear. Against the home of that upper crust, the EU, stands the Brexit Party. It, after the failures of the labour movement and the actually existing left,  is the bearer of new hopes. National sovereignty in the hands of Farage and his crew looks an unlikely vehicle for open-minded experimentation and risk. Most would consider than the Brexiteers’ political project is centred on creating a safe space for their emotional needs. They have one home in Spiked. It has a niche. It has developed as a pivotal part of the Red-Brown front. Spiked relayed through its allies within the broader Full Brexit and other has reached out to a fraction of some who call themselves ‘left’. They include Blue Labour types worried about the erosion of ‘community’, those raving at the cosmopolitan EU, identity politics that erodes centuries of indigenous working class culture, and who enjoy the odd burst of Shelly from Claire Fox. Nobody can hide that the online magazine and its panoply of allied Academy of Ideas events has allied them to Nigel Farage, the extreme right of the European sovereigntism.

Encouraged by their Dreadnoughts the Brexit Party is already acting on the political stage. Their antics in the European Parliament indicate the poverty of their nationalist ambitions.  It is, as Furedi will recognise, hard to see how we on that internationalist left that he loathes, will lack the courage to continue our implacable opposition to this department of the culture of fear dominated by the “language of emotionalism”.

*****

  1. Page 67 and 11, Politics of fear. Beyond Left and Right. Frank Furedi. Continuum 2005
  2. Page 244. How Fear Works. Culture of Fear in the Twenty-first Century. Bloomsbury. 2018.
  3. Page 127. Page 99. How Fear Works
  4. Page 192 After Virtues. Alasdair MacIntyre. Duckworth. 1987. Page 244. How Fear Works
  5. Therapy Culture. Cultivating Vulnerability in an Anxious Age. Frank Furedi. Routledge. 2004

More material on the origins of Spiked/the RCP:

Triangulating Bobism 2: The Furedi cult

Who Are They? Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas

Libertarian Humanism or Critical Utopianism? The Demise of the Revolutionary Communist Party Dave Walker

From New Interventions, Vol.8 No.3, 1998

 PLATFORM FOR WORKING CLASS UNITY? THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST PARTY’S RED FRONT AND THE 1987 ELECTION

The Red-Brown front – Spiked – defends Boris Johnson.

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Plebeian Cadres of the Red-Brown Front.

There is a new guru on the left.

Let’s call him  the Heg.

He has direct line of communication to the nether spheres where the red-brown front does its pondering.

Heg busy defending internationalist good sense in the Western borderlands, has many a string to his bow.

In a prescient post Heg, predicted that Brendan O’Neill would chew the carpet and start spitting nails against the female Greenpeace activist assaulted by Mark Field.

In last night’s scuffle between Conservative MP Mark Field and a Greenpeace protester, which of them was really behaving in an entitled manner?

We can guess the answer:

it wasn’t Field who displayed colossal levels of entitlement last night — it was the protesters. It was these increasingly smug and disruptive climate activists who behaved in a morally arrogant fashion.

The moral arrogance of the Mansion House climate protestors

Today, well, let’s say this from Brendan O’Neill today was amply predicted by the Man they call Mystic Heg.

The hacking of Boris Johnson’s home

The Guardian’s invasion of Boris’s privacy is a new low for broadsheet journalism.

Brendan O’Neill, ex-Revolutionary Communist Party.

The chattering classes are lapping it up. These are the kind of people who look down their noses at tabloid-reading plebs who like to hear about the private lives of celebs. Yet now they priggishly pore over the hacked conversation of a politician and his girlfriend and hold it up as proof of what foul or tragic people they are. The worst aspect is the naked sexism they’re displaying towards Ms Symonds. They decree, in their infinite wisdom, that she is a victim and should get the hell out.

The great man concludes, with this,

I hope they will agree that if the liberal broadsheets develop a habit of listening through the walls of private citizens’ homes, then both the right to a private life and the standards of journalism in this country will suffer badly.

On the background of this national populist current see:

Here

As French National Populist Rassemblement Takes Projected Lead in European Polls Anti-Semitism Scandal Emerges.

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Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Guillaume Pradoura"

Marine Le Pen’s Party  likes a laugh…

The Rassemblement National (RN) stands at 23,5% in polls for the European elections, just ahead of Macron’s list, for En marche at 22,5% (Européennes : un nouveau sondage donne le Rassemblement national devant En Marche ) In another poll more than a third of French people are reported to  have a “good opinion” of the far-right party (Plus d’un tiers des Français ont une bonne opinion du Rassemblement National).

This morning on Europe 1 Gilets Jaunes were interviewed on how they would vote.One said for Marine Le Pen’s party, the other would cast his ballot for La France insoumise.Meanwhile this  scandal around the picture of a Rassemblement National aide disguised in “funny” dress as a Rabbi has been hitting the French media headlines.
This is the background from Konbini news.C’est un nom inconnu du grand public. Et pourtant, Guillaume Pradoura est bien connu de la délégation du Rassemblement national (ex-Front national) au Parlement européen. Par son curriculum vitae d’abord. Actuellement assistant de l’eurodéputé Nicolas Bay, en 7e place sur la liste RN aux élections européennes, il a été un temps colistier de Marion Maréchal-Le Pen aux élections régionales de 2015.

He is unknown to the general public. And yet, Guillaume Pradoura is well known to the Parliamentary group of the Rassemblement national (RN) (former Front National) in the European Parliament. By his CV to begin with. He is currently assistant to the MEP Nicolas Bay, in 7th place on the list RN in the European elections. He was on the same election list as Marion Maréchal-Le Pen in the 2015 regional elections.

Guillaume Pradoura s’est d’abord fait un nom au sein de la mouvance identitaire avant de rejoindre le parti de Marine Le Pen. Un engagement qui lui permit de nouer de solides relations avec différents groupes nationalistes et néonazis européens. Au point de faire jouer son réseau pour aider un jeune Français proche du Ku Klux Klan à échapper aux forces de l’ordre, avait révélé Mediapart en 2016. L’assistant de Nicolas Bay avait alors expliqué au site d’information avoir “voulu l’aider, dans une sorte de réflexe paternaliste”.

Guillaume Pradoura first made a name for himself within the identitarian movement before joining the party of Marine Le Pen.  This was an engagement that allowed him to build strong relationships with different nationalist and neo-Nazi European groups. To the point of using his network to help a young Frenchman close to the Ku Klux Klan to escape the police, as Mediapart revealed in 2016. The assistant of Nicolas Bay had then tried to explain this by saying that he ” wanted to help, in a kind of paternalistic reflex’ .

He is now suspended from membership of the Rassemblement national.

RN : l’assistant de Nicolas Bay suspendu après s’être “déguisé” en juif sur une photo

The Rassemblement national (RN) announced Friday the suspension of Parliamentary Assistant to the European Parliament, RN Nicolas Bay after the broadcast of a photograph depicting him “disguised” as a Jew.

On this snapshot posted on social networks by MEP Sophie Montel, former activist of the National Front, Guillaume Pradoura is wearing a rabbi hat lined with curls. He grimaces in front of the lens, his hands twisted.

“Guillaume Pradoura is immediately suspended from the National Gathering and summoned before the conflict commission for the purpose of exclusion”, wrote Friday on his Twitter account the mayor of Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais) and vice-president of the RN, Steeve Briois.

At the beginning of the day on Radio Classique, Nicolas Bay had played down the importance of this “very old photo, which dates from 2012 or 2013” and spoke of “bad taste”.

This picture was initially defended by his boss,

“It was a dressing up, a simple bad taste joke  in a private setting” , said the former Vice President of the Front National Nicolas Bay,

Aide to far-right French politician pictured wearing Orthodox Jewish costume

Times of Israel.

Guillaume Pradoura, an aide to National Assembly leader Nicolas Bay, posing in 2013 while wearing an Orthodox Jew costume. (screenshot news.konbini.com via JTA)

JTA — An assistant of the general-secretary of France’s foremost far-right party was photographed grimacing while dressed as an Orthodox Jew and extending claw-like fingers at the camera.

Labeled by the French media as an “anti-Semitic caricature,” the image from 2013 of Guillaume Pradoura, which surfaced in social networks this week, exposed the National Rally – formerly National Front – to fresh criticism of anti-Semitism in its ranks.

Pradoura is the assistant of Nicolas Bay, ranked number 7 on the list for this month’s European Parliament elections by the National Rally under Marine Le Pen.

Bay dismissed criticism over the picture, saying that “it was a disguise, a mere joke made in bad taste made privately,” Kobini, a news site, reported Thursday.

Far-right candidate of the National Rally party Nicolas Bay, speaks during a media conference for the upcoming European elections next month in Strasbourg, eastern France, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party’s founder and father of it’s current leader, Marine Le Pen, has multiple convictions for denying the Holocaust and inciting racial hatred against Jews. His daughter has kicked him out of the party and vowed to stop expressions of anti-Semitism in its ranks.